New SAP Solutions on Azure by SLES for SAP Applications
SUSE collaborates with Microsoft Azure to secure and safeguard the SAP landscape. Last year we published a blog post with an overview of the high availability solutions on Microsoft Azure by SLES for SAP Applications. Recently several new solutions have been released to help customers reduce downtime and enhance security.
High Availability Solutions
In the recent SAP on Azure Video Podcast, two exclusive SUSE solutions were introduced. The recording is available on YouTube.
1. Fast-dying HANA index server HA Solution
By extending the integration between HANA database and Pacemaker cluster, this solution detects failing SAP HANA indexserver processes, triggers a fast takeover to the secondary site, and significantly reduces the recovery time when HANA indexserver crashes. When SAP HANA indexserver dies, it takes a very long time for the service to fail completely to a point that a failover can be triggered by cluster. However, the long dying time doesn’t match customer SLA. SUSE has implemented this fast-dying indexserver solution. It proactively checks the HANA status change, and based on the pre-configured rules, triggers failover if it’s indexserver loss. As the result, the recovery time after indexserver failure can be reduced, depending on the size of the HANA database, from as long as 1.5 hours that we have observed, to minutes. This solution supports HANA 2.0 SPS 05 or newer, in both Scale-Up and Scale-Out architectures. This SUSE blog contains the technical details: Emergency Braking for SAP HANA Dying Indexserver
Please check Azure documentation that has been updated with the configuration of the susChkSrv hook to supports this solution.
2. Simple Mount Structure for NetWeaver ASCS/ERS HA Solution
Classic ASCS/ERS HA solution uses “Filesystem” resource to manage the shared file system of the instances. However, in certain cases the architecture had issues, thus customers, including SAP HEC who runs SUSE HA solutions, demanded a more robust solution.
SUSE has released a different architecture especially useful in the cloud environment, where NFS is commonly used for the shared filesystems. Shared file systems are no longer managed by the cluster. Instead, they are mounted at OS boot. SUSE created a resource agent “SAPStartSrv”, yes, the same name as the SAPStartSrv framework, because the job of the resource agent is to manage the SAPStartSrv service of the ASCS and ERS, respectively, so it only starts on the corresponding node. This solution is supported on SLES for SAP Applications 15, already certified by SAP HA-Interface certification. Azure is the first cloud that has adopted this solution, now the default for any new implementation. Azure configuration guide “High-availability SAP NetWeaver with simple mount and NFS on SLES for SAP Applications VMs” can be found here.
|Classic/Old Way||New Way (Simple Mount)|
|Shared File Systems||/usr/sap/<SID>/ASCS<#>
managed by the cluster, unmount & mount during failover
|Mounted at system boot, NOT managed by the cluster. No need to unmount & mount during failover, thus more robust.|
|Resource Agent||Filesystem resource agent to manage the shared file system mounts||SAPStartSrv resource agent to manage the SAP “sapstartsrv” framework process of ASCS/ERS instances.|
|Number of shared file system mounts||On the ASCS Node
On the ERS Node
|On both ASCE/ERS nodes
For the complete list of supported HA solutions for SAP, please check this one-stop reference: Supported High Availability Solutions by SLES for SAP Applications.
No disruption during patching is a critical principle for operational efficiency. SUSE has extended support of live patching from kernel to user space, to enhance security compliance and reduce planned downtime. OpenSSL and glibc, two dependencies of SAP HANA, are the libraries commonly affected by security vulnerabilities. Without the User Space Live Patching, a patch on these libraries will require a system reboot. Now, customers can avoid expensive reboot, for up to 1 year, to enhance the uptime of in-memory HANA databases and other mission critical workloads.
Pre-Hardened SLES for SAP Applications Images
To improve overall security, SUSE provides hardened images SLES for SAP Applications 15, based on combination of government and industry standards STIG and CIS, minus rules that can only be applied after instance creation. The profile pcs-hardening-sap.profile is available in the ComplianceAsCode repository. It serves as a baseline for customers to further customize depending on individual application needs. The images are available in both BYOS and PAYG consumption models on Azure Marketplace.
Validation and Monitoring
Complex HA deployments can often fail because of the lack of insights. Issues may not be fixed in a timely manner, leading to outages. Configuration errors are one of the main causes behind outages. These often take the form of minor issues that snowball into a major disruption. Therefore, it’s important to have a clear view of the SAP landscape during operations.
SUSE provides solutions to identify configuration issues and drifts in the Day-2 operation. SUSE Trento provides insights into the SAP landscape to help businesses discover, monitor, and proactively fix SAP system problems with a single console.
Trento 2.0 was recently released with exciting enhancements. Check the announcement here.
SLES for SAP Applications
SLES for SAP Applications is the leading Linux platform for SAP HANA, SAP NetWeaver and SAP S/4HANA solutions and is endorsed by SAP. It consists of the technical components to accelerate SAP deployment, minimize downtime, and increase operational efficiency. The pre-built images of SLES for SAP Applications are available in the Azure Marketplace with significant cost saving options.
SUSE ASSIST: Optimization Services
This service is ideal for when you are ready to optimize your infrastructure via technical health checks, fine-tune solutions to meet new business demands or integrate new solutions. Optimization Services ensures that you continue to deliver high quality IT services after migrating to Microsoft Azure.
SUSE Premium Support Services
Premium Support Services is an optimization offering for those enterprises that want a direct relationship with named technical professionals, who provide in-depth and custom support services for business-critical production environments. The premium services team is backed by SUSE technical support, product management, and engineering. Since SUSE Premium Support engineers are also experts in HA solutions, the service is highly recommended to any SAP customers running HA solutions.
Find Out More
SUSE Azure Alliance landing page: https://www.suse.com/partners/alliance/microsoft/
Contact SUSE: email@example.com